REVIEW: ‘Alpaca Ball: Allstars’ Is Absurdly Good (Switch)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Alpaca Ball: Allstars

My favorite party games all have one thing in common: they’re cute. Whether it’s the adorable astronauts in Among Us, the chonky Fall Guys, the physics-defying adorable characters in Party Animals, or the perfect buns of Bake ‘n Switch, if you make it cute, I will pick it up right away. That’s honestly why I jumped at the chance to review Alpaca Ball: Allstars. From Badland Publishing and Salt Castle Studios, Alpaca Ball: Allstars is an arcade soccer game that combines the best of wacky sports classics, like NBA Jams, with one of my favorite mammals, alpacas.

In the game, players choose their alpaca, customize its look, and drill the rival goal with as many shots as your mighty mammal can muster. While there are a lot of controls to learn, the tutorial and first couple of levels offer up enough time for you to get accustomed to them. Utilizing every button on the controller, you can ram into your opponents and try to exploit crazy ball physics. Set with a fun soundtrack, and even cuter alpacas, you’re encouraged to not only learn how to whip your alpaca’s neck around (it elongates and hits the ball and I promise it is not as disturbing as it sounds in text) but to also learn how to use the level design.

In fact, every element of each soccer field can be used to move the ball. The wall, the goalposts, the other player, all of it. And of course, depending on where and how hard you hit it dictates how the ball gets moved around. While there are clear physics involved in moving the ball, it is hard to gauge movement, especially when utilizing a powered-up hit or a backward hit. But this is par for the course since you can pick up different powers that will impact how you interact with and move the ball. To be honest, I stopped caring about trying to line up shots and more about just making sure the ball was going in a general direction which helped make sure I found enjoyment and not frustration.

Alpaca Ball: Allstars

The powers you can pick up along the way perform a variety of tasks, like a piece of American football-inspired equipment that lets you ram your opponents and knock them over. And the weirdest (read most useful) is one that lengthens the neck of the alpacas which multiplies its reach and power. There is even a power that allows you to shrink the rest of the players, but unlike the others, this one can’t be directed and instead will affect everyone on the field, including your teammates. How you use your powers is up to you, but to be honest, the more chaotic the game is, the more fun you’ll have.

This is also true when it comes to field size. While there are large ones that mimic a World Cup match, there are others that are less advanced and tighter fits for multiple players. While the limitation of movement in other games would be a factor that removes joy, in Alpaca Ball: Allstars the smaller the field, the more fun I had because it made everything feel completely random. While I usually don’t like sports-like games like this one, that’s because I’m not generally good at them. Aiming and utilizing environments in shots isn’t my strong suit. So while there are physics in Alpaca Ball: Allstars, the fact that I can have fun just ignoring them makes this a game that I not only want to play with friends but also one that I’ll gladly play alone.

On that topic, Alpaca Ball: Allstars has both a single-player Career Mode and a Cooperative Mode to play with others. Career Mode is a must to learn the game. While it offers up the smallest of career stories as you start as an Alpaca Ball newcomer and aim to be the best by forming your own team and compete in the World Cup so you can save your home, this mode is all about the customizations you can get and the training you receive. As for the PvP aspect of the game, you can also play matches against other human players in matches of up to 8 players with teams split into 4 Vs 4. That said, this is a local co-op so those with Nintendo Switch Lites will miss out on this opportunity. That said, the Steam version of the game on PC does offer online play.

Overall, Alpaca Ball: Allstars is absurd and fun. It’s a whole lot of chaos and nonsense that is just the game a lot of people are looking for to play on and off stream. Come for the cute alpacas, stay for the chaos, and make sure you pick it up for some wholesome animated joy.

Alpaca Ball: Allstars is available on Nintendo Switch on October 15, 2020 and on Steam, with a PlayStation 4 port coming soon.


Alpaca Ball: Allstars
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Overall, Alpaca Ball: Allstars is absurd and fun. It’s a whole lot of chaos and nonsense that is just the game a lot of people are looking for to play on and off stream. Come for the cute alpacas, stay for the chaos, and make sure you pick it up for some wholesome animated joy.